Aimplas Increases Knowledge on the Evaluation of Functional Barriers
Aimplas, the Plastics Technology Center located in Valencia, Spain, has completed its participation as coordinator of the European project Banus, after 24 months of research on the development of functional barriers allowing the use of non-authorized recycled materials in food packaging. Thanks to the researches carried out within this Project, significant progresses have been made on the evaluation of functional barrier and the effectiveness of different materials on the market. Furthermore, the knowledge achieved allows opening the door to new working lines to develop new and completely safe products.
The project Banus, which has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, has the participation of other eight centres and European companies. During Banus development, major breakthroughs have been achieved on the existing methods for the evaluation of the functional barrier performance of different structures, including the optimization of methodologies of contaminating materials and the evaluation of the migration of the substances used as contaminants. A considerable advance has also been made in knowledge regarding characterization methods of the coatings evaluated and the behavior of the contaminant substances inside the different structures evaluated.
Regarding to the production of packages containing non-authorized recycled materials, none of the structures evaluated in Banus is 100 % effective. However, the results of the evaluation carried out have allowed the participants to know which the critical points of the current structures are, which the options that could work for certain applications are and which the developments needed to achieve 100 % effective structures are, from the knowledge acquired. It is also remarkable that Banus has meant a major advance in the knowledge of the effectiveness of coatings already existing in the market and the possible improvements applicable in order to get a coating that is able to satisfy the requirements of the project’s participants. On the other hand, it has been confirmed the existence of problems of diffusion of the contaminant substances during the transformation phase by coextrusion, which limit the barrier effectiveness of the structures obtained by means of this processing technique.
From all these researches and analysis of possible solutions and given the major interest that this research line arises in the Sector, Banus opens the door to new works in Aimplas that allow the development of new fully efficient barriers that make possible to use non-authorized recycled materials in food packaging.
AIMPLAS Instituto Tecnológico del Plástico
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